In an exciting year for healthcare, orthopedic device companies underwent mergers and acquisitions, strove to find the most innovative solutions and made calculated decisions in the hopes of achieving long-term success as the market becomes increasingly competitive. So who had the best 2016?
The new Trump administration and Republican Congress – and all the accompanying change and uncertainty – is the major story for the medical device industry.
But there are many other medtech stories worth noting from the first quarter of 2017. There was an FDA warning over Abbott’s Absorb bioresorbable stent, a continued spate of M&A deals, a slew of cardiology research breakthroughs including a customizable robotic heart out of Harvard, and much more.
Here are the top medical device stories of early 2017.
Image Credit: White House
This was yet another year filled with mergers and acquisitions in the medical device industry, with several mega-deals valued well over $1 billion. Many of these transactions are rearranging the order of top players in various device sectors or entirely remaking a technology field. In addition to some of these evolutions, a couple of transactions haven’t moved forward as expected. All of this has added up to exciting and fast-paced changes in the medtech industry.
By Marie Thibault | MD&DI
In June 2014, Medtronic and Covidien shook the medical technology industry with the announcement of a merger of unprecedented scale. OCTANe’s Medical Investor Forum, held in Irvine, Calif., Oct. 27-28, featured a conversation between Geoff Martha, who led Medtronic’s team for the $50 billion merger, and Brett Wall, former president of Covidien and current president of the Neurovascular business at Medtronic. The pair provided an inside look at the deal, how it happened, and what they would have done differently. For the most part, in keeping with OCTANe’s conference model, Wall acted as the interviewer.
Medtronic was 3 years into the leadership of Omar Ishrak and looking at what was coming down the pipeline, Martha explained. There were issues in the healthcare space, particularly in costs and meeting the needs of providers, payers, and government, that Medtronic leaders felt it couldn’t solve with its current model.
Despite global challenges and escalating consolidation, the medical device and technology market will eclipse $500 billion in sales by 2021, according to a new analysis.
The optimistic outlook comes despite the economic slowdown in China and various financial challenges in the European Union like Brexit and, most recently, the troubles of banking powerhouse Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, large device makers have consolidated amid a downturn of medical device sales.
But a new report by market research firm Evaluate expects global medical device and technology growth to be 5% or more annually until 2022, reaching nearly $530 billion. “The sector is already seeing a resurgence of smaller acquisitions on which start-ups, a significant source of disruptive new technologies, depend,” Ian Strickland, EvaluateMedTech product manager said of the report, released at the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) annual MedTech meeting this week in Minneapolis.
In recent years, large medical device makers have largely seen flat or falling sales. From 2014 to 2015, Evaluate said 12 of the 20 largest companies in the “medtech” space had negative growth, contributing to investor pressure to merge and cut costs as health insurers and government health programs squeeze payments for devices.
There is a trope used by motivational speakers that the Chinese word for “crisis” is a combination of the symbols for “danger” and “opportunity.”
It probably isn’t translated that way. But no matter what, times of disruption actually can present great opportunities. Consider all the now-giant companies such as General Electric, Microsoft, and Apple started during recessions.
Perhaps that’s where the medical device industry is right now. From smaller M&A deals to less venture capital, there has been little reason for medtech insiders to feel optimistic about the business, according to a recent report by EP Vantage, which is part of Evaluate (London). Add in questions swirling around cybersecurity, and the situation looks even worse.
And yet a host of innovations are coming of of age in the device space—from 3-D printing to connected health features—that could make medical devices more individualized, more interactive, and hopefully more useful when it comes to managing and improving people’s health.
Here are 10 recent trends we’ve spotted that spell out both danger and opportunity for the medical device industry:
By Chris Newmarker | Qmed
While some analysts see a buying opportunity after Zimmer Biomet’s (ZBH) latest quarterly results, it is the company’s efforts to return to growth that could signal merger-and-acquisition opportunities.
The medical-device company is well on track to show a return to growth this year, say Jefferies analysts in a research note Friday. Overall organic revenue growth was about 2.5%, better than their estimate of 1.7%. The analysts also noted that the company’s guidance for the second half of the year implies continued growth.
Zimmer Biomet reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of $2.02 per share Thursday that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Revenue of $1.93 billion for the period also surpassed analysts’ forecasts of $1.9 billion. But the key takeaway was the success integration of Biomet as the company has re-established top-line momentum. The stock was up during the trading session Friday, at around $130.85.
“We are now poised to move forward with our plans, which include the acceleration of our commercial and innovation strategic priorities,” said CEO David Dvorak during a conference call with analysts, “These priorities are designed to further enhance and sustain our growth well into the future.”